Žiga Turk blogging about issues of European politics, growth, innovation, creativity, communication technology. Includes posts originally published at BlogActiv, DigitalPost and few others.
Data driven innovation:if you build it they will come
In the EU we are often accused of having big government and public sector; spending too much; collecting too much information etc. But there may be a silver lining to it.
In the globalized competition among the states, of course it is important to improve the level of services, cut costs and reduce the red tape. But it is also important to make the best out of the situation. Which is that the public sector is sitting on a treasure of data which costs taxpayer money to collect and maintain and in many cases citizen effort to provide.
Therefore it would be wise to make sure the data is either put to use or stopped being collected.
It is highly unlikely that the governments would come with the only and the brightest ideas on what to do with that data. On the contrary, the growth around the internet has shown the tremendous potential of innovation in the private sector and the academia.
In the beginning of December I took part at a Summit “Data Driven Innovation in Southeast Europe“. It was organized by several organizations from the region and Google in Zagreb, Croatia. Members of governments, academia, civil societies and businesses from the region met to exchange best practices and discuss the innovation strategy. Innovation that should be based around data openly provided by the public sector.
While Slovenia is also a Central European country, it shares a long common history and therefore institution types and public-sector culture with former Yugoslav republics. There are plenty of opportunities to collaborate and borrow solutions from each other.
A whitepaper summarized the initiative and best practices. The message from Slovenia was very clear – “if you build it, they will come“. If you build open access to open public data, developers and innovators will come and create services and apps on top of that.
They will create services which are useful to the citizens. But not only directly useful ones, such as live traffic information. They would create services that would make the publicly available data easier to access and understand.
By doing that they would contribute to the transparency and public oversight of that the people have over their governments and public sector that they fund. And thereby indirectly contribute to its quality.
I do a lot of reading on my Android devices, phones and tablets. After a long search I selected Moon+ Reader , the Pro version. The killer feature was the way bookmarks and underlining is handled. I mostly read non-fiction and like to mark important passages. And I want to be sure my marks are available forever. After I am done with a book, I create an Evernote clip from my marks and comments. With Moon+ this is done with a single click. I did most of my reading on my Nexus 7 tablet, but when my phone was getting bigger I realized it would be nice to do some reading there as well. And it would be even nicer if I could synchronize the books, notes etc. Synchronizing book files Moon+ provides functionality to sync books (.epub, .pdf ...) to cloud, but they are just pushed to cloud and this is the end of the story. They will not end up on your other device. So you need to do it like this: Create a backup of the Moon+ main folder. Just in case. Many android file manages let you
I have been involved in publishing on the World-Wide-Web since 1992 and with scholarly publishing since 1995, also as a co-editor of a peer-reviewed journal ITcon and a coordinator of a framework program SciX, that was studying the topic in depth. The bottom line is that in the scientific publishing process there is a decreasing value added by the publishers. The research is funded by the governments or the industry, performed by the researchers, papers are written and reviewed by them for free, only at the very end a publisher comes along that takes over the copyright, publishes the work and sells the journal at great expense to the community that created and edited the content for free. At the Competitiveness (Internal market, Industry and Research) Council meeting in Brussels, on 22 and 23 November 2007 a conclusion has been reached on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation . It recognizes: the major contribution of universities, interna
Reading about Sarkzoy, Merkel to invite Van Rompuy to head Eurozone I must say I liked the idea 18 months ago. From a paper published in European View Volume 9, Number 1, 79-92 , DOI: 10.1007/s12290-010-0117-3. Enhance economic coordination. This is a logical requirement to maintain monetary integration. The crisis has shown its mechanisms should be taken much more seriously. In the enforcement of the Stability and Growth Pact the Commission should take advantage of the new provisions in the Lisbon treaty. The pact should be extended with supervision of private debt and the balance of payments. Because economic coordination calls for measures in the member states, the European Council should take the lead in shaping coordinated economic policy and the Commission in overseeing it. The coordination in the Monetary Union should be particularly strong and take place at a prime ministerial level (underlined today). At the time (and now as well) the Monetary Union was handled by an almo